Tony Bellew faces Valery Brudov in cruiserweight bow
Tony Bellew hopes to announce his arrival in the cruiserweight division with a crushing win over Valery Brudov.
Last Updated: 05/03/14 5:18pm
Bellew stepped-up from light-heavyweight after failing to take the WBC title from Adonis Stevenson in November and battles Brudov in Liverpool on March 15, live on Sky Sports.
He plans to send out a grim warning to his new rivals, with world champions such as Marco Huck and Yoan Pablo Hernandez top of Bellew's hitlist.
Brudov is a former world title challenger, but has fallen short at the highest level and Bellew must prove he belongs with the best.
"I am ranked number seven with the WBC at cruiserweight already," said Bellew. "I am coming into an exciting division with established world champions and I am hoping to make my mark in this division.
"My two goals in boxing are to earn a living for me and my kids, and to become a world champion.
"I will go in with Valery Brudov, who has had 45 fights and 41 wins, 28 by knockout - he has had more knockouts than I have had fights.
"He has a good record, he is a good fighter, and this is a dangerous fight, make no mistake. But if I am going to be anything in the cruiserweight division I have to beat this guy and look good beating him. It is a test, and it should let me and everybody else know where I am in the cruiserweight division."
Bellew had been tempted to move up earlier, but opted to stay at light-heavy until Stevenson shattered his world title dream with a sixth-round stoppage defeat.
He has followed old rival Nathan Cleverly up to the higher weight and some exciting fights could lie ahead for the Liverpudlian.
"This is a new chapter, a new beginning for me. It is up to me to pick up the pieces, work hard, and get to where I was at light-heavyweight as a cruiserweight," he said.
"I have always thought about fighting at cruiserweight but I had always had the attitude that if it isn't broken, don't fix it.
"I have to earn my shot now, the way I did at light-heavyweight. I have to show I am a top cruiserweight and an A-level fighter. I believe I am but there is no point me saying that, it is better for me to get in there and prove that.
"There are great world champions at this weight. They are world-class fighters, proven fighters and there are no easy touches there. The division is really good."
On the same bill, Kell Brook will face Mexican Alvaro Robles as he warms up for his world title clash against Shawn Porter.
Rocky Fielding defends his Commonwealth super-middleweight belt against Charles Adamu, while lightweight Kevin Mitchell will work towards another world title shot.